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Pharmaceuticals: Counterfeit Drugs

The proliferation of counterfeit drugs on the global market and easy availability via online pharmacies is an increasing problem. The makers of counterfeit drugs have enjoyed and profited from loopholes in a system designed to deliver healthy medicines to those in need. The rising cost of prescription medications and the ubiquitous presence of online and overseas pharmacies means more people than ever are threatened by these counterfeiting operations.

The trade in counterfeit medicine is flourishing around the world, bringing losses to the producers and posing a threat to patients' lives, industry representatives warned last week at a conference on safety in the pharmaceutical trade.

The global market for counterfeit medicine is growing by 13 percent annually and is expected to reach 65 (zł.222.5) billion in 2010, according to EU data. These products may constitute up to 10 percent of all medicines in developed countries and up to 50 percent in developing ones, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute's data shows.

By Konrad Kiedrzyński
14 April 2008

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